Another week in the Old Pueblo, another couple of local CDs being released.
Calle Debauche began life as a trio in 2006, and released an album, Potemkin Carnival, in that formation. Since then, they've lost one member and gained three more. This week, they release their second album, this one self-titled, as a five-piece: Mohadev (guitar, banjo, keys), Frederic Malter (drums), Chris Halvorsen (marimba), Guillem Sarlé (tenor sax) and David LeGendre (tuba).
Like so many young local acts, Calle Debauche strictly performs instrumentals, and theirs are quirkier than most. "Angle of Ill Repute" is centered on a ska beat and a whimsical little clarinet/sax melody, but makes room within its 3 1/2 minutes for a variation on a marimba melody, as well as a lovely bridge. One section even recalls the novelty hit "Popcorn," by Hot Butter.
"Regarding Pete," which follows, starts out as something like a march that leads into a dual-guitar lead that reminds of any number of '70s prog bands, before getting jazzy at the end. Aside from its prominent banjo, one section of "Food Poisoning" sounds a bit like the jazz band Sting put together after The Police broke up. But that's something of an anomaly: Most of what's found on the CD is cut from the same avant-garde cloth as Frank Zappa, early Camper Van Beethoven (especially during the ska and Eastern European passages) and the work of Mike Patton. If that's your bag, do yourself a favor and check 'em out: They're awfully good at it.
Calle Debauche celebrate the release of their new album with a release party next Thursday, May 21, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. Also on the bill are locals Chris Black and Flagrante Delicto, who begin at 9:30 p.m. A fiver gets you into the back room. Call 798-1298 for further details.
Although we didn't receive a preview copy, Standby Red 5, another local all-instrumental band, releases its debut CD this week. Unlike the relatively exotic sounds of Calle Debauche, this quartet generally keeps things in a post-rock vein à la Explosions in the Sky or El Ten Eleven. One song found on their MySpace page, "Iron Vessel," starts off with a figure played on what sounds like glockenspiel, adding parallel guitar notes as it gradually gathers steam, then builds to a huge climax. Another, "The Great Contention," starts off as a '70s-inspired riff rocker, then deconstructs before its own climax.
Standby Red 5's CD-release party takes place at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Monday, May 18. The all-ages show starts at 7 p.m. and also includes sets by Autumn, Tyler Akin and Cory Ferrugia. Cover is $5. Call 622-8848 for more information.
Since we already mentioned them up above, now is a good time to let you know that Los Angeles post-rock duo (and Tucson favorites) El Ten Eleven return to town this week for a show at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Monday, May 18. Also on the bill are Mascaron and fourfivesix, who get things rolling at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $7, and the number to call for more info is 798-1298.
Christopher Davis, a 2008 graduate of Sahuaro High School who is now studying violin performance at Arizona State, has been accepted to study this summer at the prestigious Meadowmount School of Music, in New York, but doesn't have the $6,000 he needs to enroll. His father, local drummer Doug Davis, is throwing a benefit show on Sunday, May 17, to raise funds. The event will take place at the Inn Suites Hotel Tucson City Center, 475 N. Granada Ave., from 3 to 10 p.m. A barbecue will run from 3 to 5 p.m., and live music from the George Howard Band (R&B), Foulero (Latin jazz), Reunion (variety), Uncle Raymond (blues) and Giant Blue (blues rock) begins at 5 p.m. Admission is a suggested donation. For more information, call the hotel at 622-3000.
Experimental Japanese noiseniks Ghost arrive in town this week as part of a rare U.S. tour. The group, led by founder Masaki Batoh, veers from Krautrock-inspired motorik to psychedelic folk, from flute-driven prog à la Jethro Tull to what sounds like a traditional Irish folk song pummeled into the dirt by Captain Beefheart. In other words, anything goes. But as fucked-up-sounding as their music is, Ghost never forsakes melody for the weirdness—it's all there, in one tidy package, and it is truly something to behold.
Having no idea what to expect from the band's live show, I asked a publicist for the band's American label, Drag City, about it, as she saw them recently in Chicago. Sure, it's her job to pimp 'em, but she (seemingly candidly) said it was one of the best shows she's ever seen.
Ghost performs at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Wednesday, May 20. Lichens, a 90 Day Men side project, opens at 9 p.m. Cover is $8. Call 622-8848 for further details.
It's been a few years since Minneapolis-based, environmentally conscious, experimental outfit Cloud Cult brought their giddy, multilayered indie-pop songs our way. Since then, they've released a pair of new albums—2007's The Meaning of 8 and 2008's Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes)—as well as a brand-new DVD called No One Said It Would Be Easy. They've also had a song featured in those ubiquitous Esurance commercials on TV. Along with openers Say Hi and Ice Palace, Cloud Cult performs at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Saturday, May 16. The show starts at 9:30 p.m., and admission is a 10-spot. 798-1298.
Solar Culture Gallery, at 31 E. Toole Ave., has a pair of interesting shows this week. First up, on Sunday, May 17, Aussie David Bridie, frontman for world-pop vets Not Drowning, Waving, performs a solo show. Longtime Tucson music fans, take note: Opening the show, along with Dal Hodges, is a reunion by local act the Passionflies, who we're pretty sure haven't performed live in nearly 12 years. Admission is a paltry $6.
Then, on Wednesday, May 20, the gallery hosts two indie legends in their new incarnations. You can read all about Ian Svenonius' new band, Chain and the Gang, in this week's Rhythm and Views. The Hive Dwellers, who are co-headlining, are fronted by none other than K Records founder Calvin Johnson, veteran of Beat Happening, Dub Narcotic Sound System, and the Halo Benders. Also on the bill: our own Golden Boots. This one's a bargain at $10.
Both Solar Culture shows are welcome to those of all ages, and both begin at 9 p.m. Questions? Ring 'em up at 884-0874.
We're almost out of room (already?), so let's see how many shows we can cram in at the end here: The Airborne Toxic Event at The Rock on Wednesday, May 20; Myka 9, Abstract Rude and Aceyalone at Club Congress on Tuesday, May 19; Orange Tulip Conspiracy and Flagrante Delicto at The Hut on Wednesday, May 20; The Horrorpops at Club Congress on Friday, May 15; The Modeens and Amy Rude at The Red Room at Grill on Saturday, May 16; The Aggrolites and The Hounds at Club Congress on Sunday, May 17; Ultramaroon, Steel Tigers of Death, Android Hero and Said Gun at Vaudeville on Wednesday, May 20; Chango Malo and Traindodge at Club Congress on Friday, May 15; the Silver Thread Trio and Shotgun Party at The Red Room at Grill on Friday, May 15; Opeth at the Rialto Theatre on Sunday, May 17; Palace of Buddies, ...music video? and Ghost Cow at The HangArt next Thursday, May 21; Shark Pants, Sabertooth Snatch, Rumspringer, JJ Crap n Vomit at Vaudeville next Thursday, May 21.